Tholing monastery, (in) Zanda, Xizang, CN

Raw data

"The Tholing Monastery is located in Zanda County, in the Ngari Region of western Tibet. Built by the second king of the Guge Kingdom in 996, it was the oldest Buddhist temple in the region. During its heyday, it was the main centre for the translation of Buddhist scriptures and the holding of religious ceremonies. The kingdom's dominant function in introducing Buddhism to the heart of Tibet also contributed much to this temple. In the middle of the 11th century, the high lama from India Atisha lived and gave sermons there. Then in the year 1076 a religious ceremony to memorize the nirvana of this master was held there during the peak period of this glorious monastery. In subsequent years, the monastery weathered several vicissitudes and was finally recognized as a cultural relic of national importance under the protection of the state at its 1000th anniversary.
The Tholing Monastery incorporates the craftwork of the architecture and Buddhist statues of neighboring India, Nepal and Ladakh (the present area of Kashmir), imitating the style of the archetypal Tibetan temple - the Samye Monastery. The groups of buildings here include halls, monks' residences and pagodas, among which the most worth seeing are the Jiasha Hall, Red Hall, White Hall and the 108 Pagodas."

Tholing - General description, Pictures, 2D drawings -

Toling, China Page
Other names: Zanda,Cha-ta,Tolingmath,T’o-t’e-lin-ko-ma,T’o-lin-ma-ssu,T'o-lin-ma-ssu,T'o-t'e-lin-ko-ma,Totling,Tuling,T’o-lin,Ta-ting,T'o-lin,Totling-gompa
World:China:Xizang Zizhiqu
Lat 31.5333 Long 79.8333

"In 1040 Atisha and Nagtso set out for Tibet, […] After two years of travel they reached Tolung (stod lung), the capital of the Purang Kingdom.
There Atisha resided for three years, giving teachings that gave birth to his masterpiece, the Bodhipathapradipa, or Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment. […] There he also met his closest disciple, Dromton Gyalwai Jungne ('brom ston rgyal ba'i 'byung gnas).
Having grown close to Nagtso, Atisha next traveled to Nagtso's homeland, Mangyul, where he stayed for a year, prevented from returning to India by a war in the region. Atisha is said to have sent a letter to his abbot requesting permission to stay in Tibet for the rest of his life.
The two next traveled to U and Tsang, where Atisha received invitations to visit temples and give teachings. They arrived in Tsang in 1046, and Samye in 1047. […] There is evidence that many Tibetan communities of monks opposed Atisha's presence, and that he was largely forbidden from teaching in the manner to which he was accustomed. In addition to Samye, he visited […] Tangpoche (thang po che), founded by Khuton Tsondru Yungdrung (khu ston brtson 'grus g.yung drung), the disciple of the Eastern Vinaya monk Lume (klus mes).
Atisha spent five years at Nyetang [in Drölma Lhakhang monastery - tmciolek], in the southern Kyichu valley south of Lhasa. A temple was built there a year after Atisha's death, where his body was embalmed."

Input by: tmciolek, Aug 7, 2010

"Das Thoding-Kloster (tib. mtho lding dgon pa, tibetisch: མཐོ་ལྡིང་དགོན་པ) oder Tholing-Kloster (tib. mtho gling dgon pa) ist ein buddhistisches Kloster im ehemaligen Königreich Guge und liegt heute im Kreis Tsada (Zanda) im äußersten Westen Tibets (Ngari). Die Klostergründung reicht in das Jahr 996 zurück. Das Kloster war das religiöse Zentrum des Guge-Reiches. […] Lat 31.483611°, Long 79.798056° " -
Input by: tmciolek, 16 Jan 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 20 Mar 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Tholing monastery, CN.

General location of the Tholing monastery, CN.
Lat 31.4835 Long 79.7993
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=31.4835,79.8333&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Tholing monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Xizang Zizhiqu

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 31.4835 Long 79.7993 - based on the visual identification of the site in maps, - tmciolek, 9 Aug 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag: 0967-99c - tmciolek 14 Dec 2012
  • 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - tmciolek 14 Dec 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • architectural, scriptural

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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